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Scoobyandy in another topic elsewhere wants to get back into railway modelling but is on a tight budget and is happy to take a bit of time to put a nice model railway together.

Now railway modellers are renowned for manufacturing fantastic landscapes and buildings out of items that normally go straight into the waste bin.

In fact railway modelling can be a very green hobby if you put your mind to it.

If you visit the resources section at Model Rail Forum you will find an article that describes how you can create cuttings and landscapes out of chicken wire, card, and paper. And how often have you seen fuel storage tanks created out of plastic containers?

Basically the cardboard box in all its forms is manna for every railroad modeller.

So please help Scoobyandy and others out.

How can he create a good looking model railway out of basic everyday materials that cost nothing but time and imagination?


Think about trees, fencing, hedges, grass, buildings, roads, even the baseboard. Offcuts from builders skips can be useful for this.

All your suggestions here please!


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Most of the buildings on my layout ar made from cardboard from last years calenders!

Scenery is usually built with a cardboard lattice (cereal boxes), and paper (the local newspaper).

I once ballasted a layout using sand from the beach, and ballasted another using some very fine gravel from the backyard.

There was a layout in Railway modeller a few years back which cost about £4.00 to build, even the baseboard was an old door!
 

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Self advertising is a wonderful thing!

Try this for ideas, hints an tips on modelling from not a lot, or adapting from very little!

http://www.modeltracks.co.uk/smallworld/

and hit the 'tips' button at the top...

Thanks for opening up the N Scale/ Gauge ( - don't get me started!) section. I'm glad Z is being included as i will be posting in that, as and when, as I have just started on my first experience with Z. All good so far!

Best Wishes,
Jules
 

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Depending on the layout size don't put too many buildings on - Try and have a selecetion, but if you have a large open space, perhaps consider a hill or cutting around your track using the old newspaper and glue trick.

Its something i would consider, but don't even have space for a hill.
 

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As a paid-up member of the TWS (Tight Wad Society) and a lurker here, I have come on board with a useful couple of tips for those who dislike making other people rich, and with two subjects that I notice are popular topics.
1. Corrugated iron/cladding. I was disapointed to receive some Ratio plastic corrugated. It was expensive, and deliberately modelled to have badly aligned joints.
2. Concrete/Tarmac surfaces. The majority of modellers try to represent this by putting down a rough surface, such as emery paper, or making a smooth (sticky) surface rougher by coating it. Think on your average road/car park/yard surfacge. It is usually a rough surface that has been smoothed, the exact opposite, yes? (Think of road rollers, car tyres, feet etc flattening things) Iin other words the surface was nobbly immediately it was laid but is flattenned out straight awayas part of the laying process leaving tiny holes/dents, true?
My solution for both? Sun Dishwasher tablet boxes (or similar).These boxes are made from extremley fine corrugated card, though I'm sure that's not the only source. Look carefully at the edge of some small strong boxes, you may fins they are very fine corrugated card about 2-3mm thick.

Making Corrugated. Open up the card box, which has one shiny printed smooth outer face and a plain brown inner face. Dip the card (both sides or it will curl) into tepid water and wait a few minutes. When the inner thin brown paper layer is capable of being peeled off, do so carefully, before the minute corrugations separate from the glossy outside. Place the corrugated and smooth card backed layer on a flat surface, 'grooves upwards' to dry. When dry, spray the groovy side with acrylic car primer and hey presto, you have about £10's worth of corrugated. In truth, it's a little over-scale for corrugated iron, but for asbestolux sheeting and cladding 1930-60's engine sheds, factories, it's 'perfick'.

Making Concrete/Tramac/Cinder path. Before the thin (approx 0.3mm)brown layer dries, place it on a sheet of wet and dry paper of the required 'roughness' and roll it firmly against the w+d with a roll of kitchen paper, dry soft cloth etc, to impress the grain of the w+d into the thin brown paper. Weight down with a suitable soft-faced weight and leave to dry. Result, a thin, imprint of the wet and dry IN THE RIGHT SENSE i.e., smoothish, but with tiny, tiny holes/dents. (It is important to place it on the w+d on the non-sticky side because it carries traces of the original cardboard glue)

The same 'denty' paper can be stuck down and coloured with water colour/pastel etc with the advantage that a wet finger rubbed round and round will wear potholes and so on right through if necessary. If you have the requisite model vehicles you can run the wheels in the paper before the glue dries. I like wallpaper paste mixed very thinly as it doesn't stop water colours from penetrating and can be dampened to be removed if it all goes wrong.

Sorry for such a long introductory post but hope this will save someone money for important things like Malt Whisky....
 

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Well, Gary!

I seemed to kill that topic stone dead with that blurb!!!!!

Another (shorter) tip...

ROCK FACES...Visit a wood yard, sawmill, woodland etc...and get hold of pieces of rough bark, eg Oak, and run them lengthways through a table saw or saw carefully with a hand saw. Glue the sawn edges together with PVA, and when dry cut across ways to make 'rock faces' wit a totally natural random surface..CHEAP!
 

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'Corrugated shelter finished and weathered...the security fencing is from a garage waste skip...the 'wheels' are offcuts of a drawer stop from an MFI flatpack, the sticky chimney flashing repair tape is *** paper rubbed with a 2B pencil and the scratch built shed is made of cornflake packet, the brickpaper is home-made computer drwan (only 'garden-wall bond' I'm afraid...) CHEAP!

 

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Sorry for the delay in posting "rock faces", camera touble! Only the loco and track are shop bought, the trees, brambles, rocks, texture powders are all from garden and saw bench waste...CHEAP! The 'brambles' have come out a bit light, I can't get those little 'Dylon' tubs here in France so that's green ink.



 

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Tea leaves work well in representing coal.
Dish washing towels ,scrubbers can be teased apart to look like bush etc.A wash of colour can then form the colour base,and hair spray and flock can "rough" it up.
Twigs,weeds,[dried]can form a base for a tree.It is amazing when you are walking around what you can find in any scale you want.
Gathering dried leaves during the year and bagging them seperatley,you will find you have a pallet of many colours.Add a bit of this colour,that texture;break them/grind them in an egg cup and you have a flock.Free!
This goes for stone chips as well.Many textures,many colours.There is sand ,gravel ,crushed shell sifted and sorted from the beach.
House hold brushes can be chopped roughly and "planted" in glue,when dry brush glue on the bristles and add flock.looks good near a water feature.
In Oz we have these discount stores that during the year have these bath mats that come and go;very cheaply.The texture can be mowed ,hacked,coloured the roughly combed.You have an instant crop field.
Borders for fields can be tiny pebbles for a rock wall,a bit of teased dish scrubber around and near the wall for hedge.The gate can be made from twigs out of the garden.
Save your saw dust from your wood working.Colour it with water colour.Flock!
Packing foam from appliances you buy can be used in the little womens mixer when she is not around.It is very important that she is not around.This gets finely chopped and you have another flock base.Experiment with how long you turn the mixer on for different textures.
Water seepage from the ground ,a pipe can be reresented by gloss varnish.Different flock colours and textures very sparsley sprinkled on the varnish,a pebble here or there,a twig.A realistic soggy patch.Experiment.
Tooth pegs,cotton,fine wire,a fence.
Tiny advertising logos cut out of adds in mags and you have a stick on for billboards or the wall of a building.
Matches,nails fine wire and you have road bollards.
I suppose the only limit is your imagination.
 

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I have seen somebody demonstrating cheap scenics and one of the ingredients was dried coffee grounds - mixed with cheap poster paint give a very useful grass effect. Pound shops often have cheap sets of poster colour.

However the coffee or whatever needs to be thoroughly dried. Have tried this and no smell.

Larger scenic lumps can be made from old carpet backing (especially the foam sort that have gone slightly crumbly through age). If you can find one an old mincer is ideal for breaking these up.

Corrugated board as mentioned above very useful.
 

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Some extra ideas. Next time you want to buy a coffee head to Starbucks. The piece of card round the cup to stop you from burning your hand, is instant corrigated sheeting when turned inside out. And make sure you pick up a bunch of coffee stirers which make great planks of wood for fencing or whatever your imagination can think of!
 

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and for a contribution ...

Instead of buying ground coloured paints I discovered that my kids had some large bottles of poster paints. I mixed red with green to get brown and coloured the whole layout with different variations by gradually adding more green.

Whilst not strictly "household waste" these were things that were lying a round the house and not used much. They gave a great effect and didn't cost me a penny.
 
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